Coping with anxiety while waiting

Posted by ventibug @ventibug, May 29, 2018

I would welcome the suggestions of others for strategies for coping with anxiety while awaiting the next whatever. CT scans have never given me good news; I look forward to being surprised with good news after cycle 2 of chemo, when team takes the next look. Currently on a 2 week break from chemo due to the need for time to heal wound infection. Sent photos of healing progress to oncologist. I pretty much had it together that he would recommend another week of healing. He recommended 2 more weeks. Since Ive already had a recurrence (last CT news), i am worried my cancer is growing while I wait to be able to resume chemo. I dont disagree with the plan. My inquiry is how to cope with the anxiety? Things that work for me sometimes: knitting; getting lost in a good book; joking with friends; playing with my dogs; praying. Ordered Dr Amit Sood’s book today (thank you, llwortman) to improve mindfulness skills. All suggestions humbly appreciated, Ventibug

@cweeks18

HI TERESA, MY NAME IS CHUCK, I AM A SAILOR AND NOT SMART WITH WORDS, IE,ANXIOUS , WHEN OUT A SEA, I AM ANXIOUS TO GET HOME. BUT I DONT LIKE ANY THING ABOUT MY CANCER. BBUUT I SURE LIKE GETTING HOME. RESP. CHUCK.

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I took a class that was offered at Mayo that helped me a lot. I will highlight two ideas. The first was to designate a place in your house to feel calm. It can be a room or a chair. If knitting, praying or drumming makes you feel calm, do it there. Don’t open bills or other anxiety provoking things there. The second was to enjoy nature and see yourself in the perspective of the cosmos. Having said that, I am still anxious about my upcoming appointment with the urologist. To manage it I’m spending time with my friends, doing my favorite hobbies, exercising, and eating a good diet. Plus doing the two things I outlined.

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@cweeks18

HI TERESA, MY NAME IS CHUCK, I AM A SAILOR AND NOT SMART WITH WORDS, IE,ANXIOUS , WHEN OUT A SEA, I AM ANXIOUS TO GET HOME. BUT I DONT LIKE ANY THING ABOUT MY CANCER. BBUUT I SURE LIKE GETTING HOME. RESP. CHUCK.

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@mpeters What great suggestions! Thanks for sharing these with us.

Teresa

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This is a great topic…. 6 years ago my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. We were horrified, and we spent the next 2-3 years waiting…Waiting for the next bad thing. We watched and waited for symptoms to develop. We interpreted every little twitch as the beginning of the end. We were in full panic mode, anticipating and dreading the worst possible developments. It took us that long to learn to cope with the fear, the depression, the anxiety…until we finally understood that the advice and care the doctors were giving us was empowering – allowing us to live our lives with the best possible outcomes. Note that I speak as though we both got that diagnosis….After being married to this guy for 38 years, that's what it feels like. Our best days have come from enjoying our family, being together doing the daily activities of life – as well as we can, as much as we can, we talk about the symptoms that have developed – to the doctor, to our family, to each other. Shame and embarrassment and dread no longer control our daily life. Small pleasures are the best!

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@maxaz1

This is a great topic…. 6 years ago my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. We were horrified, and we spent the next 2-3 years waiting…Waiting for the next bad thing. We watched and waited for symptoms to develop. We interpreted every little twitch as the beginning of the end. We were in full panic mode, anticipating and dreading the worst possible developments. It took us that long to learn to cope with the fear, the depression, the anxiety…until we finally understood that the advice and care the doctors were giving us was empowering – allowing us to live our lives with the best possible outcomes. Note that I speak as though we both got that diagnosis….After being married to this guy for 38 years, that's what it feels like. Our best days have come from enjoying our family, being together doing the daily activities of life – as well as we can, as much as we can, we talk about the symptoms that have developed – to the doctor, to our family, to each other. Shame and embarrassment and dread no longer control our daily life. Small pleasures are the best!

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Very helpful. Thank you.

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@maxaz1

This is a great topic…. 6 years ago my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. We were horrified, and we spent the next 2-3 years waiting…Waiting for the next bad thing. We watched and waited for symptoms to develop. We interpreted every little twitch as the beginning of the end. We were in full panic mode, anticipating and dreading the worst possible developments. It took us that long to learn to cope with the fear, the depression, the anxiety…until we finally understood that the advice and care the doctors were giving us was empowering – allowing us to live our lives with the best possible outcomes. Note that I speak as though we both got that diagnosis….After being married to this guy for 38 years, that's what it feels like. Our best days have come from enjoying our family, being together doing the daily activities of life – as well as we can, as much as we can, we talk about the symptoms that have developed – to the doctor, to our family, to each other. Shame and embarrassment and dread no longer control our daily life. Small pleasures are the best!

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Adding to my post….Make no mistake. We have our moments of fear and depression and days where we, individually or both, take our long naps to escape the reality of difficulties of daily life. But knowing that we can recover from a pessimistic outlook, and that there is a lot of life to still be lived, helps a lot.

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@maxaz1

This is a great topic…. 6 years ago my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. We were horrified, and we spent the next 2-3 years waiting…Waiting for the next bad thing. We watched and waited for symptoms to develop. We interpreted every little twitch as the beginning of the end. We were in full panic mode, anticipating and dreading the worst possible developments. It took us that long to learn to cope with the fear, the depression, the anxiety…until we finally understood that the advice and care the doctors were giving us was empowering – allowing us to live our lives with the best possible outcomes. Note that I speak as though we both got that diagnosis….After being married to this guy for 38 years, that's what it feels like. Our best days have come from enjoying our family, being together doing the daily activities of life – as well as we can, as much as we can, we talk about the symptoms that have developed – to the doctor, to our family, to each other. Shame and embarrassment and dread no longer control our daily life. Small pleasures are the best!

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@maxaz1

Thank you for sharing your new found approach to waiting! It sounds like a healthy transition to this "new normal." By the way, your picture is just great – you both look very content and happy.

Teresa

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L
LL had pain in my head,and had to go to er. they said I have brAIN CANCER. i HAVE TO WAIT 6-7 WEEKS TO SEE A DR. iS THIS NORMAL

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@brown1

L
LL had pain in my head,and had to go to er. they said I have brAIN CANCER. i HAVE TO WAIT 6-7 WEEKS TO SEE A DR. iS THIS NORMAL

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when I was told I had to wait 3 wk I called the patient advocate in the hospital and was in in a wk. Insist politely. Good luck!

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Welcome to Connect, @brown1
Different doctors and institutions have different wait times. Hearing you have a brain tumor is stressful and challenging. No doubt you will have questions about the diagnosis, treatment options and what will happen next. You may wish to seek a second opinion.

Brown, I'm not sure if Mayo Clinic is an option for you. At Mayo Clinic, we offer appointments within 48 hours through the the Brain Tumor 48-access program. Experts at the Mayo Clinic can help you navigate your healthcare journey, answer your questions and guide you through the treatment plan. Here is the online form and contact numbers for our 3 campuses http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63 Be sure to mention the Brain Tumor 48-access program.

Brown, when you went to ER did they confirm a diagnosis of brain cancer or is it a suspicion and the next step is more diagnostic testing?

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@brown1 I am so sorry about your situation. What made the ER come to that conclusion? Did they actually do testing to make an accurate diagnosis? Have you called around to other Dr's to see if you can get an earlier appointment? I would recommend calling another DR. Get at least 3 opinions.
Please keep us posted as to your outcome. But I recommend calling more Dr's to see if they can get you in for testing sooner.
I wish you the best.
Jackie

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Hello @brown1

I see that this is your first post and I appreciate your sharing with us about your new diagnosis. I am so sorry to hear of your brain cancer – I can understand why you are concerned about waiting 6 – 7 weeks. Whether or not this is a normal wait time for an appointment depends on where you live and the doctors who are available in your area who can treat this type of cancer.

If you are comfortable sharing more information could you tell us: Did they tell you what type of brain cancer you have? Did they mention the size or the grade of the tumor or lesion and what part of the brain the tumor is located? Have you previously had cancer of any other type? These are all important questions to consider as you seek treatment.

If you don't want to wait 6 – 7 weeks you can always call other good facilities and find out who is available to treat this particular type of brain cancer. Do you live near a cancer research center or a university medical school? It is probably important that you have a good doctor, highly experienced, as well as a good medical facility.

Here is a link to a discussion here at Connect for others dealing with Head and Neck Cancers, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/meet-others-living-with-head-neck-cancer-come-introduce-yourself/?pg=1#comment-79534. As you read through these discussions, you might find some good information as well as support. Here are some Members how have previously mentioned Head and Neck Cancers, @jeffk @lisa_sj99 @jtw96 @mrsjhagen18 @sylviapf @lzzie @loli @karly @trudivo @angelag @ssimons @deborahe @gaybinator @emmur16 @udderplace. I would like to invite them to join you in this discussion.

Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing. I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

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@maxaz1

This is a great topic…. 6 years ago my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. We were horrified, and we spent the next 2-3 years waiting…Waiting for the next bad thing. We watched and waited for symptoms to develop. We interpreted every little twitch as the beginning of the end. We were in full panic mode, anticipating and dreading the worst possible developments. It took us that long to learn to cope with the fear, the depression, the anxiety…until we finally understood that the advice and care the doctors were giving us was empowering – allowing us to live our lives with the best possible outcomes. Note that I speak as though we both got that diagnosis….After being married to this guy for 38 years, that's what it feels like. Our best days have come from enjoying our family, being together doing the daily activities of life – as well as we can, as much as we can, we talk about the symptoms that have developed – to the doctor, to our family, to each other. Shame and embarrassment and dread no longer control our daily life. Small pleasures are the best!

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@maxaz1 distraction has always worked for me especially when it is in the form of action. Reading, writing, music, puzzles, painting, drawing, coloring, taking pictures, walking, swimming, driving, phone calls/ texts, surfing the internet & posting/ replying in forums, blogs & group conversations are particularly low to know impact actions for people with limiting health issues

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